Investing.com – The dollar was steady to higher against the other major currencies on Thursday, recent comments by Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen continued to support the greenback, while markets turned to upcoming U.S. economic reports.
USD/JPY slipped 0.18% to 101.50, off Wednesday’s one week highs of 101.78.
The dollar remained supported after Ms. Yellen said Tuesday that rates could rise sooner if the economic recovery continued to improve. However, the Fed chair also said that if the recovery was disappointing monetary policy would remain accommodative.
Separately, market sentiment soured amid fears that heightened tensions between Moscow and the West could hit the global economy after the U.S. announced a new swathe of sanctions against Moscow for supporting Ukrainian separatists.
USD/CHF eased 0.06% to 0.8977, coming off Wednesday’s highs of 0.8988.
The euro remained near one-month lows against the dollar, with EUR/USD at 1.3531 as the divergence on monetary policy between the European Central Bank and other central banks pressured the single currency lower.
ECB President Mario Draghi said earlier this week that large scale asset purchases are “squarely” within its mandate. The remarks were the latest indication that the central bank is open to further monetary easing measures to stave off the risk of deflation in the euro area.
Earlier Thursday, Eurostat said consumer price inflation rose 0.5% last month, in line with expectations and unchanged from a preliminary estimate. Euro zone inflation rose by 0.5% in May.
The rate remains firmly below the European Central Bank’s target of near but just below 2%.
The pound slipped lower, with GBP/USD down 0.15% to 1.7112, down from a nearly six-year high of 1.7190 struck on Tuesday.
AUD/USD inched up 0.07% to 0.9375, while NZD/USD was down 0.25% to three week lows of 0.8690.
The National Australia Bank earlier said that its business confidence index ticked down to 6 in the second quarter, from a reading of 7 in the first quarter, whose figure was upwardly revised from a previously estimated reading of 6.
In a addition, the Conference Board said its leading index for Australia rose by 0.2% in May, after a 0.2% fall in April, whose figure was revised from a previously estimated 0.1% decline.
The Canadian dollar was little changed near three-week lows with USD/CAD at 1.0745 after the Bank of Canada left rates on hold on Wednesday and said the future path of monetary policy would be data dependent.
The US Dollar Index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, edged down 0.05% to 80.58, not far from Wednesday’s one month highs of 80.66.
Later in the day, the U.S. was to publish reports on initial jobless claims, housing starts, building permits, and the Philly Fed manufacturing index.